Saturday’s local government elections in Jigawa State recorded low turnout of voters, as only a handful of voters were seen in polling units, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN correspondents who monitored the exercise in some of the council areas reported that there was voter apathy in most of the polling units during the poll.
Some of the areas visited included Kiyawa, Jahun, Dutse, Babura, Suletankarkar and Gumel LGAs.
Accreditation and voting opened for the prospective voters in Babura at about 8 a.m. at polling unit 002, the registration area code of Governor Muhammad Badaru, amid low voter turnout.
NAN reports that as of 11:23 a.m. only 300 out of the 900 registered voters cast their votes and not many voters were seen on the queue for possible accreditation and voting.
The presiding officer, Bashir Musa, said they were expecting the state governor to come and vote before closing by 3 p.m.
In Kiyawa, Jahun, Suletankarkar and Gumel, the election also witnessed low turnout of voters in most polling units visited while children were seen playing around some of the centres.
However, some of the voters expressed delight at participating in the elections.
Muhammad Ibrahim, a voter in Babura, attributed the low voter turnout to the farming season.
Mr Ibrahim said many who voted in the election had rushed to their farms while others had returned home.
Another voter, Garba Adamu, alleged that voters had shown little interest in the election because they were not expecting appreciation from either political parties or candidates for “vote buying.”
He, however, expressed the hope that the turnout would improve before the close of polls.
Also, some of the voters attributed the voter apathy to low participation of opposition parties in the elections.
Abdullahi Muhammad, a voter, advocated a law to empower INEC to conduct council elections in the country.
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“Council elections should be organised and conducted by INEC to avoid manipulation by the state governors,” he said.
Mr Muhammad said the measure would make council elections credible, transparent and fair.
However, Abdulmutallab Shafi’u, who voted at Babura Special Primary School polling unit, said the exercise recorded high turnout of voters.
Mr Shafi’u said most people went home or to their businesses after casting their votes.
NAN reports that the exercise was generally peaceful in all the 27 local government areas of the state.
Eighteen political parties fielded candidates for the 27 chairmanship and 288 councillorship positions in the elections, according to the Jigawa State Independent Electoral Commission (JISIEC).
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had deployed over 3,500 personnel to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise. (NAN)